A Desert Garden for Coyote, 1995

Cliff Garten
(American, born 1958)

Location: Coyote Ridge Corrections Center, Connell


Artist Cliff Garten created the landscaped garden and wooden arbor titled A Desert Garden for Coyote . It serves as a gathering place for employees at the Coyote Ridge Corrections Center in Southeastern Washington. The garden features plants indigenous to the surrounding Channelled Scablands environment. The installation makes a statement about the division between the developed landscape and the untouched, natural landscape of Coyote Ridge. Garten sees the figure of Coyote, known as the "Trickster" in Nez Perce and Umatilla traditions, as the mediator between man and nature. He notes, "The sculpture I have made is a landscape working between both these contexts of the cultivated and the wild and uses the presence of Coyote Man the Trickster as its central image…. Coyote's physical presence, as well as his spirit, is certainly part of the landscape around Connell."

This artwork was acquired for the State Art Collection in partnership with Department of Corrections.


Artist Cliff Garten creates environmental and sculptural installation for public spaces. He states, "Sculpture defines our interaction and movement by creating energy between things, generating interest in public activity, reframing our private lives and creating a sense of place within public and private realms."
Garten received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, in New York State. He received a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from Harvard University in Massachusetts. He received a Master of Fine Arts degree in sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). He has taught at Hamline University and the University of Minnesota.

MediumMahogany and cedar wood, steel, basalt rock, concrete aggregate, earth, sheep fescue, turf, and cherry trees
DimensionsArbor 68 ft x 68 ft, overall area 100 ft x 300 ft
ID NumberWSAC1994.016.000
Acquisition MethodSite responsive commission
Artist LocationCalifornia, United States
Location Information
AgencyDepartment of Corrections
Artwork LocationCoyote Ridge Corrections Center
East end of training building
WA CountyFranklin
Site TypeState Agency
Address1301 N Ephrata Ave.
Connell, WA 99326
Geo. Coordinates46.679946, -118.852185
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